+ Sunday August 18th, 2019

At Ausdroid we often write about the fastest fanciest most expensive mobile phones but plenty of people can’t afford (or don’t want) to spend $1000-$2000 on one phone. That’s where value for money phones like the Alcatel 3 (2019) come into the picture.

Whats In The Box?

Inside the box you’ll find the phone, charger, earbuds, paperwork and a micro USB cable. Our review unit had a European plug because that’s where early stock was available to send us for review. Australian retail packaging for this phone will have an Australian charger and certifications, of course.

Specifications and Looking Under The Hood

Strengths

The biggest massive strength is that this phone runs Android One, a pure version of Android supplied straight from Google.

The phone runs Android 9.0 out of the box. All phones that run Android One are guaranteed to get operating system updates for 2 years and security updates for 3 years.

Hardware strengths include 64 GB storage on board (microSD expansion possible), 4 GB RAM and an 8 core Snapdragon 439 processor. At the top left you’ll find a headphone jack.

Granted the Snapdragon processor is not massively speedy but it’s definitely much snappier than a basic Mediatek processor. It helps that the phone runs Android One which is optimised for speed.

In terms of style the phone back is made of plastic but the gradient colour used is nice and the teardrop notch at the top of the front screen is good. Also on the back is the finger print scanner which was of middling quality. Certainly not as fast or accurate as a high end phone.

At 3500Mah the battery capacity is quite decent and a low intensity user should easily get 2 days use, possibly 3 days.

Weaknesses

At this price point there are obviously going to be some compromises: in this case the charger port, screen, WiFi speed and camera quality.

The bundled charger is 5V / 1A. The phone charges a lot faster using my spare 5V 2 amp charger. Speaking of chargers the USB port is micro USB to cut down on cost.

At 720 x 1506, the screen resolution is basic. Not bad but obviously supplying a screen less than 1080P HD is one easy way to keep the cost (and power consumption) down.

WiFi works at 2.4Ghz frequency only up to 72mbit speed.

The rear camera is 13MP and the front camera is 8MP. The photos I took during the day were a bit soft in detail but good enough for social media and sharing. Low light cafe performance was not very good so I expect night photos would be poor.

You can’t expect great night photos from a basic phone. Maybe that will change in a year or two.

Ed: After Chris experienced a phone failure while on a trip in China last week, he used an Alcatel 3 (2019) for a few days. Broadly speaking, the camera was poor, but serviceable. He found that photos often blurred, edges were soft, and performance overall was less than ideal. However, while it failed at taking high quality photos for use in online reports (such as this one), it took adequate photos for sharing on social media.

Should You Buy The Alcatel 3 (2019) model?

We’ve had a bit of time to test the Alcatel 3 (2019) Australian model and found it to be more than serviceable. Gone are the days when spending about $300 meant that your phone was slow, ugly, never got any updates and had hardly any storage space onboard.

At $279 RRP per Alcatel 3 (2019) you could buy two of these for your kids and two of them for your parents and still have change left over compared to the RRP of a flagship phone from Samsung, Huawei, OPPO etc.

The Alcatel 3 (2019) will be available for purchase from Officeworks and Amazon Australia.

Disclosure Statement:


Ausdroid has been allowed to retain the 3 (2019) model for extended real life testing by an elderly family member, one of the key target markets for Alcatel

Neerav Bhatt   Associate

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Neerav has been interested in Android phones since he bought the 1st one ever released (HTC Dream/G1). He has never bought an Apple product :-) His dream phone would have stock Android OS, fast high-res camera and swappable 4000mAh battery.

A high performer in multiple fields, Neerav has worked as an IT Support Analyst, Mainstream media writer/Photojournalist and University Research Librarian.

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Tibb So
Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

With such low specs you probably wouldn’t want to keep this for 5+ years but what’s with Android One only offering 2 years of updates?

Google wants to green-wash their products but then still plan on Android One powered phones being junked in two years. Similar problem with Chromebooks.

We desperately need to cut back on e-waste so with Google not Alcatel controlling the updates why aren’t they for the life of the phone?

About time Governments forced manufacturers to take back and recycle any e-waste they sell.

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